Preparing your Terrace Garden for Fall Blooms

There is nothing better than tasting the sweet flavor of vegetables harvested from your terrace garden or smelling the fragrant flowers blooming. You might think that as summer grows closer to its end your garden will also.  However, as the cooler weather looms, planting particular flowers, vegetables, herbs and bulbs now will yield you crops into the early fall and surprise blooms in the spring.

Vegetables: There are many vegetables that can be planted in August and harvested well into October. Carrots, spinach, parsnip, beets, broccoli, parsley, kale, endive, onions, radishes, turnips, cabbage and brussel sprouts all thrive in the cooler weather of fall and have shorter germination times. When selecting plants, some varieties are specifically designed for a fall harvest. Planting spinach in nice pots will allow you to easily pluck the leaves for a fresh salad. Clip kale and create delicious chips. Some lettuce varieties like arugula are also a good fall vegetables to sow.

Annuals: Fall beckons the autumnal colors of mums and ornamental cabbage. Annuals, which reappear every season can add a zip of color, especially when other flowers reach their prime for the season. A wonderful way to continue to reap the benefits of your terrace garden is with mums. Mums are not only colored in oranges and yellows. Many mums come in purples and reds as well and some varieties boast a beautiful star like shape as opposed to the button shape we are accustomed to seeing. Pinching back remaining flowers and herbs will allow them to stick around just a bit longer.

Bulbs: The vibrant yellow of a daffodil that we long to see in spring is planted in the ground now. Tulips, irises and lilies all like the cooler soil and their roots are much stronger in the spring if they are planted now.

Fertilizing: It is best to continue to fertilize the flowers and plants already in your garden, except for roses. Roses need to go dormant soon and growth should not be encouraged with fertilizers.

Moving and splitting: August is also a good time to move or split perennials. Perennials in containers may need to be split into two or three as space is constrained. Your perennial roots will be stronger and yield better flowers next year if they are split now. Even if you do not replant your splitting, you can always give a piece to your neighbor for them to plant in their terrace garden. In these last days of summer, escape from the city heat by relishing in your garden and know that with a little extra work, you can continue to enjoy its beauty well into fall.

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